Under the slogan: “Down with tyranny, long live freedom”, the democratic political forces of Venezuela, together with the President of the Republic of Venezuela and the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, deputies, political organization activists and civil society held a meeting during the National Unity Congress, in the framework of the commemoration of the 209th anniversary of the signing of the Independence Declaration, celebrated this Sunday, July 5th, using Zoom.
With the intonation of the notes of the Venezuelan National Anthem, and after the reading of fragments of the Declaration of Independence of 1811, the event began with the participation of the national coordinators and heads of parliamentary factions of the Venezuelan political parties Voluntad Popular (VP), Acción Democrática (AD), Primero Justicia (PJ), Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT), Causa R (CR), Frente Amplio Venezuela (FAV) and Encuentro Ciudadano (EC).
More than 15 thousand people connected from inside and outside Venezuela during the meeting described as “historic and extraordinary” by the political leaders, where Leopoldo López, National Coordinator of Voluntad Popular, had a unexpected participation. He celebrated the realization of this National Congress of Unity in favor the conquest of the second independence to be achieved according to his opinion with “determination, spirit of rebellion and strong and cohesive unity” of all Venezuelans, focused on a single cause which is: freedom of Venezuela.
“Today we are facing a historic challenge, the obligation to build the road to the second independence, which allows us to be a truly free and sovereign country, which can conquer its dreams, without foreign interference, but also, without corruption, terrorism, violence and persecution,” he stressed.
For the Venezuelan political leader, only with unity will it be possible to regain the new and second independence, and he noted that the challenge to achieve freedom and democracy “is even greater” after 20 years of an oppressive dictatorship that submerges its people in hunger, exile and repression.
He reiterated the call of President Guaidó, the parliament and the political parties to hold free, fair and verifiable elections with an independent CNE appointed by the legitimate National Assembly, but noted “that we cannot agree with a path that simply forces us to walk towards submission to the dictatorship.”
I take this opportunity to remember the civil, military and parliamentary prisoners held for political reasons who are suffering in Venezuelan jails because of tyranny, the fellow citizens who lost their lives in this transition to freedom and the exiles who are contributing overseas to the cause of rescuing democracy.
López recalled and related the historical events of July 5th, 1811, led by the Liberator Simón Bolívar, cataloguing them as a great step of victories and defeats that had to happen to found the Republic of Venezuela.
Signing of the Pact of Unity
Next, Congressman Juan Pablo Guanipa, Vice President of the National Assembly and Primero Justicia, proposed that the democratic political forces with “a sense of urgency” sign “a Pact of Unity” representing the entire country, which has as its central premise: the departure of Nicolás Maduro and his accomplices from the power they usurp and clarified that those “who want to cohabit will not have a place in this force.”
Guanipa described as “formidable” the international support to the Venezuelan cause, but in his opinion, everything “will depend on the social pressure that is achieved in Venezuela.”
“If we act together we will achieve our goals, if we protest together we will increase the pressure and if we demand together the conditions, we can vote freely and if we work together we will achieve freedom,” he said.
There Is No Independence
On behalf of Acción Democrática Party, Piero Maroun, affirmed that in Venezuela there is no independence because there is interference from foreign nations in all areas of the country and he assured that because of this situation, the referred political organization is committed to the construction of the second independence.
He pointed out that after 209 years of Venezuelan Independence, the usurping dictatorship and those who are latched to power betrayed the Venezuelans and destroyed the economy and production in the country.
“The freedom of Venezuela is in our hands. Venezuelans are counting on the National Assembly and its political organizations to achieve the freedom that will be achieved through struggle and national unity that will be essential to eradicate the oppressive dictatorship that wiped out the country’s economic apparatus,” said Maroun.
On behalf of the party that leads Encuentro Ciudadano, parliamentarian Delsa Solórzano warned that the dictatorship intends to deny the right to vote and subject Venezuelans to an electoral farce, and assured that before this scenario, “we Venezuelans have the obligation to rebel and tell the planet that we will not accept the dictatorship’s designs.”
She urged the nation and Venezuelans to achieve independence in view of the submission to and interference of the Cuban regime and the wrongly called 21st century socialism of the “people in hunger and need”.
“To these new liberators of Venezuela, who the President Guaidó leads, with great pride of Venezuelan blood, heir of liberators, we accompany them in the obligation to tell the world that we Venezuelans refuse to be under the yoke of any foreign power,” Solórzano remarked.
For Rodrigo Cabezas, on behalf of the Frente Amplio de Venezuela, the “unity of the nation” is fundamental for the immense challenge of rebuilding the country and, at the same time, as the only democratic way out of the political, economic and electoral tragedy caused by the dictatorship.
“The dilemma for us is not to vote or not to vote, the dilemma for us Venezuelans this time: it is to choose, it is to allow the vote that each Venezuelan exercises to decide. Voting without fraud, with electoral conditions that allow for free, transparent and verifiable elections. That is the profoundly democratic solution,” Cabezas said.
Luis Emilio Rondón, representing the Un Nuevo Tiempo party, stressed that today, when Venezuela commemorates 209 years of its independence, the government in charge and the National Assembly have joined forces to fight to overcome this complex humanitarian emergency.
He assured that the National Assembly “has done and fulfilled its part, and its work, despite the limitations and harassment that the deputies have suffered throughout these years. As well as the leaders of the other political parties that make a decent living, who have no commitment to any power”.
He also highlighted the proposal for a National Emergency Government, presented by President Juan Guaidó, whom he praised for his leadership and guidance in the Interim Government that will lead us to rescue freedom and democracy in the country.
He thanked the support of the international community and highlighted that 60 countries make up the elite of the world’s democracies that are concerned about the fate of Venezuelans.
Rondón agreed with his parliamentary colleagues that from the National Assembly and all the political fronts that are on the side of democracy and pursue freedom in Venezuela, that they will continue working on the holding of free and democratic elections that must be called by a legitimate electoral power approved by the parliament.
“So many deputies in prison, persecuted, their immunity raided, in exile that should be here with us in this patriotic celebration. Free elections are indispensable, parliamentary elections are due, we will continue fighting so that there will be competitive, free and democratic elections in Venezuela. Together we can achieve it, we have to fulfill that beautiful heritage we received from our liberators, from those men and women who gave everything to achieve a free and independent Venezuela,” ended Rondón.